Big Lottery Fund doubles the size of the Big Potential programme to £20m

The BLF says the extra £10m will fund grants to organisations that want to raise investments of more than £500,000 or win contracts worth more than £1m

Big Potential
Big Potential

The Big Lottery Fund has doubled the size of its Big Potential programme to £20m to help more charities and social enterprises attract social investment.

The programme, which was launched in March last year, offers grants of between £20,000 and £75,000 for organisations that want to raise up to £500,000 of repayable investment.

The BLF announced today that the extra £10m would fund the addition of a new "advanced route" to the programme that will support organisations that want to raise investments of more than £500,000 or win contracts worth more than £1m with one of the programme’s approved providers.

The new strand is expected to be launched in the summer. It will offer grants of up to £150,000 to any organisation that can demonstrate evidence of a potential social investment deal or interest from investors and needs help to close the deal.

The original £10m – known as the programme’s "breakthrough" route – is still available for organisations that have realistic social investment propositions but are yet to determine the best kind of investments or deals for them.

Geeta Gopalan, vice-chair of the BLF’s England Committee, said in a statement: "In these challenging times for the sector, we believe that this increased investment will help even more voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to access social investment, enabling them to grow their trading activity and hopefully become more sustainable.

"We are committed to ensuring that VCSEs are able to get the right support at the right time, so the enhanced Big Potential programme is a very important piece of the wider investment-readiness offer, which will complement a number of other programmes."

The Big Potential programme is run by the Social Investment Business in partnership with Locality, Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK and the University of Northampton.

Information on how to apply to the fund is available at www.bigpotential.org.uk.

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